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William Ping

William Seto Ping is a Chinese-Canadian writer from Newfoundland and Labrador. His work has appeared on CBC radio, in a literary magazine and in two anthologies. His thesis project for his MA at Memorial University in St. John’s (2020) is forthcoming as his debut novel, Hollow Bamboo.


Hollow Bamboo: A Novel

Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers, 2023.
PS8631.I54 H65 2023

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

William Ping’s millennial life revolves around eating at restaurants, posting online about eating at restaurants, then overanalyzing it. This changes unexpectedly when a dinner with his Chinese girlfriend’s family goes sideways and his insecurity about his biracial identity and his ignorance of his own Chinese heritage overflow like lava. During a much-needed break from the dinner table, Will is visited in the men’s room by a sarcastic, bullying spirit named Mo. The spirit whisks him into the past to learn about the life of his grandfather, the first William Ping, who emigrated from China to Newfoundland in 1931 to work in a laundry.

Based on a true story, Hollow Bamboo recounts with humour and sympathy the often-brutal struggles, and occasional successes, faced by some of the first Chinese immigrants in Newfoundland. It is a journey of heartbreak, sacrifice, brotherhood and family ties. But most of all, it is about love and survival on the Rock.

Drawing on elements of magical realism, autofiction and satire, as well as deep historical research, Hollow Bamboo is a fresh and original portrayal of our past and our present, and the debut of an extraordinary new author.

Awards and Honours

2023 Amazon Canada First Novel Award (Finalist)

Anthology (Short story)

Hard Ticket: New Writing Made in Newfoundland

PS8255.N6 H37 2022

Ping, William. “Lord Gushue’s Reign of Terror.” In Hard Ticket: New Writing Made in Newfoundland, edited by Lisa Moore. St. John’s: Breakwater, 2022, 109-115.

Anthology (Short story)

Us, Now: Stories from the Quilted Collective

PS8329.5.N4 U8 2021

Ping, William. “The Chinese Lady.” In Us, Now: Stories from the Quilted Collective, edited by Lisa Moore. St. John’s: Breakwater, 2021, 113-128.


Publisher HarperCollins Canada

Publisher Breakwater Books